I have no idea when I first picked up this cookbook, but let me tell you that this book taught me how to cook.
OK, there might be a few other factors, but truly I have not made more recipes from one book than this one.
If you want to get involved with the food world in any way, as a designer or otherwise, knowing + learning from Suzanne Goin should be a priority. It's not that her food is so unique or mind blowing, but that it is truly timeless.
Goin has an incredible cooking pedigree (Chez Panisse, anyone?) but her food is actually very accessible as well. She brought the casual, family dinner to the restaurant dining room + this cookbook is a reflection of that spirit.
The cookbook is organized in sections for every season. But Goin goes above + beyond just using seasonal ingredients. She also educates + dedicates pages to explaining what ingredients are seasonal, why + what to look for in each season. From there she uses those ingredients in carefully put together dinner menus from appetizer to dessert.
For those that are less comfortable in the kitchen her recipes are riskier than other cookbooks, but that's the allure to me. My cooking style is simple, but I turn to cookbooks like these to learn about new flavor combinations or how to make a new sauce. I found that her recipes are incredibly adaptable. Make each once, but then you'll never make it the same way again.
Unless you want to, that is.
Recipe highlights include parmesan pudding and veal scaloppine with fresh corn polenta and salsa verde-brown butter. There is even a recipe for churros y chocolate, people!
While I could gush about this book on + on, pick up your own copy + let me know what you think.